Component 2: Biostatistics and Genetics

John Belknap, Ph.D., Principal Investigator

The biostatistics core oversees the MARC's data practices with the twin goals of ensuring data integrity and supporting the center's translational research model.

To promote the first goal, the core provides centralized data processing, management, analysis, and statistical support for MARC investigators. It is responsible for ensuring the reliability, safety, and confidentiality of data management. Investigators in this core also help investigators design and implement effective strategies for collecting and analyzing data.

To enhance translational research synergy within the center, the core also serves as the main interface for the transmission of diverse data between the various projects in the MARC. This effort includes:

  • inventory of all data sets and types generated by center components
  • design of a centralized data-management plan for the center as a whole
  • documentation of center data sets to facilitate shared access
  • identification of areas for cross-component data exchange

Through design and implementation of the central data-management plan, the MARC's biostat core works to coordinate data storage by individual components in formats that will allow access by other investigators in the center and, eventually, by external scientists.

Data generated by MARC projects includes such diverse and complex data types as mouse genomics, fMRI imagery, and both human and animal behavioral data. Being able to relate these diverse data types is central to the MARC's translational research model. This makes the development of a centralized, sharable database a challenging and valuable project.